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The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The summary from the author's site for The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard (2010):

"Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend. When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal Julia left behind. But Colt is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept."
One slight correction--Julia's brother gives Colt the journal, which is actually a notebook of letters addressed to CM, making him the first person to know something of what happened between Colt and Julia.

I struggled a bit on what to write about this book for the blog. While I really enjoyed Colt and most of the supporting characters in the novel, plus the author's style of writing, I had a really hard time understanding why Colt agreed to the kind of relationship Julia wanted from him. With the story told from Colt's perspective in the aftermath of the crash that ended Julia's life, I expected to at least eventually discover what made her so special that he overlooked her desire to hide their relationship while continuing to date her socially-acceptable, at least to her family and friends, "real" boyfriend. I never did.

The ending, which I'm not going to get into in any detail here, really bothered me, too. Just a little too neat and convenient--and not necessarily really supported by the rest of the book, I thought.

Do you want to read this one for youself? To win my hardcover copy of The Secret Year, start commenting. For each post written on this blog from July 25 through July 31, you receive one entry per comment for a drawing to be done by Maya on August 1. [One blog comment per blog posting per person, please.]

My overall personal rating of The Secret Year is a B-.


sapphireblue said…
I really like a book where there is either letters or journals as part of the story. I am interested in reading it.
Claudia said…
This Julia had a boyfriend already?

I'd love to be entered in the drawing. Happy Monday!
Dana said…
HI! I'd also love to check out the book. I can read and pass it on to my neices!
sapphireblue--I agree. There are just a few entries from the letters, enough to be effective.

Claudia--Yes, Julia is publicly part of a "power couple" at her school with a boy named Austin while secretly seeing Colt.

Dana--I'm actually wondering if I might have liked this book more, or questioned why Colt liked Julia so much, if I happened to be younger. Your nieces might really like it!
ZoĆ« said…
I've heard mixed things about this book, but I love contemporary YA and I think it would be great to give it a try. Very mysterious cover!
Gaby said…
Omg this has been on my book list forever I am so excited that your giving away this book I have been dying to read it so I really hope I get picked (fingers crossed) :D

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